This silent film is Reel 1 of AMERICA GOES OVER, a silent documentary propaganda film produced by the US Army Signal Corp in 1918. The film documents the activities of the American Expeditionary Forces in World War I under General John J. Pershing. The movie was a product of the Division of Films of the Committee on Public Information, the Washington, DC-based federal agency in charge of wartime propaganda in the United States.
This reel opens with the "freedom of the seas" being denied to American vessels, as German U-boats sink American ships on the high seas (1:30 mark). On April 2, 1917, President Wilson asks Congress to declare war on Germany. Th film then shows the Allies fighting the Germans (3:00), with artillery, trenches, gas attacks, etc. all documented by the camera's unblinking eye. At the six minute mark, America is shown preparing for the war, building gigantic training bases and constructing weapons, ships, and more for the war effort. At 7:30 a ship is launched, and at 8:30 a draft is begun. Ex-President Theodore Roosevelt is seen at 8:39, reviewing the troops. The training of U.S. forces is shown for much of the rest of the film.
U.S. forces, actually an expeditionary force and not the main body of the army, are seen arriving in France at the 12:30 mark, and a review at Lafayette's tomb is conducted. At this stage, American forces are deployed in the "quiet sectors".
The film contains many "human interest" clips about doughboys on KP, using slop buckets, digging trenches, even one of their lion mascot. Those shots are accompanied by a still cartoon soldier resembling Private SNAFU.
The combat footage, which includes some graphic scenes of the dead and wounded, is accompanied by animated maps of the front, and the gradual inching toward Germany.
This film is part of the Periscope Film LLC archive, one of the largest historic military, transportation, and aviation stock footage collections in the USA. Entirely film backed, this material is available for licensing in 24p HD and 2k. For more information visit http://www.PeriscopeFilm.com